'Safer Goa highway before Ganesh festival' | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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'Safer Goa highway before Ganesh festival'

Mumbaiites travelling to their homes in the Konkan should expect a less bumpy ride because the state government has promised to make the Mumbai-Goa highway safer before the Ganesh festival.

mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2011 00:54 IST
HT Correspondent

Mumbaiites travelling to their homes in the Konkan should expect a less bumpy ride because the state government has promised to make the Mumbai-Goa highway safer before the Ganesh festival.

The road witnesses more than 2,000 accidents per year because of its narrow width, dark spots and dangerous turns and slopes. It becomes more fatal when lakhs of people use it to visit their villages in Konkan for the Ganesh festival. This year's festival will begin on September 1.

Since a major part of the 578-km highway falls within state limits, the public works department (PWD) has taken upon itself to improve it.

Work to widen the highway and divide it into four lanes has begun at particular stretches. However, issues such as land acquisition and forest norms are hindering work in other regions.

"The potholes will be filled immediately," said PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal. He asked the police department to block heavy vehicles from plying on the highway, thereby allowing small passenger vehicles to travel safely during the festival.

"I want the police to create a smooth passage for smaller vehicles and buses. They may bar heavy vehicles from the highway for two days at a stretch."

To ease road traffic on the highway during the festival, Bhujbal and minister of state for urban development Bhaskar Jadhav will allow commuters to travel to areas such as Alibaug by sea three days before the restriction period ends (on August 31).